Homeland Security's ICE Group Cuts Off Dwolla Bitcoin Transfers
from the no-explanation dept
Update: The DHS has released a copy of the warrant, which claims probable cause to believe that Mt. Gox is engaging in money transmitting without a license.
We’ve discussed in the past how the government seems very skeptical of Bitcoin, and now it may be doing something about it. As a whole bunch of you have sent in, ICE (Immigrations and Customs Enforcement), a division of Homeland Security — best known around here for its cowboy attitude towards censoring websites with no basis — has cut off Dwolla transfers to Mt. Gox, the biggest Bitcoin exchange, preventing Dwolla from processing any Bitcoin transfers. According to Declan McCullagh at News.com:
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security confirmed it has initiated legal action that prompted the Dwolla payment service to stop processing bitcoin transactions.
Nicole Navas, a spokesperson for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, confirmed the legal action to CNET this afternoon.
Chris Coyne, from Ok Cupid, posted a screenshot of an email from Dwolla claiming that ICE had “seized” the account of Mt. Gox:
MtGox has read on the Internet that the United States Department of Homeland Security had a court order and/or warrant issued from the United States District Court in Maryland which it served upon the Dwolla mobile payment service with respect to accounts used for trading with MtGox. We take this information seriously. However, as of this time we have not been provided with a copy of the court order and/or warrant, and do not know its scope and/or the reasons for its issuance. MtGox is investigating and will provide further reports when additional information becomes known.
I would imagine there will be a lot more to this story, but for the moment details are scarce.